There are perfumes and there are perfumes. Some are specifically for occasions while others are for general purposes.
That zing of crisp air and those brilliantly colored leaves mean at long last autumn is here—and with it come fall perfumes that, with a strategic spritz, will truly conjure the coziness of the season.
At a loss for where to begin? Start with the cult classics—you know, the ones that draw compliments with their dreamy harmony of exotic woods and mosses alongside both complementary and unexpected notes, such as amber and bergamot. From Krigler’s Lovely Patchouli 55 to Maison Margiela’s By the Fireplace, here is a range of universally beloved fall perfumes that will pair perfectly with that sleek velvet blazer or shrunken cashmere cardigan.
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#1 Jo Malone Pomegranate Noir Cologne
Late fall is peak season for pomegranate—and Jo Malone’s vibrant fragrance takes the sweet, tart fruit and marries it with spicy woods, juicy pink pepper, and crisp Casablanca lily.
#2 Maison Francis Kurkdjian Baccarat Rouge 540
For a touch of brightness amid the shorter days and longer nights, there’s editor-favorite Maison Francis Kurkdjian’s Baccarat Rouge 540, a woody amber blend featuring deep base notes of cedar, fir resin, and musky ambergris softened by sweet Egyptian jasmine and leathery saffron.
#3 Frédéric Malle Portrait of a Lady
A masterpiece from perfumer Dominique Ropion, Frédéric Malle’s sought-after Portrait of a Lady is named after the Victorian novel by Henry James. Its intoxicating combination of Turkish rose, patchouli, and incense is inspired by the book’s enchanting and tragic heroine Isabel. Consider it for a fall dark romance.
#4 Krigler Lovely Patchouli 55
Famous as first lady Jackie O’s choice fragrance, storied perfumer Krigler’s Lovely Patchouli 55 is powered by the earthy, musky plant with a warm, woodsy amber base and notes of leather and bergamot.
#4 Le Labo Santal 33 Eau de Parfum
Sure, it’s everywhere. But the enduring appeal of Le Labo’s Santal 33 is undeniable, especially come fall when your dusted-off leather jacket is calling for a haze of that familiar cocktail of iris, cardamom, cedarwood, and sandalwood. Just give in to it.
#5 Byredo Gypsy Water Perfume
A modern classic, Byredo’s best-selling Gypsy Water is another olfactory obsession whose ubiquity is worth ignoring for a dose of feel-good fall freshness. Autumnal notes of amber, pine needles, and sandalwood receive an energizing hit of citrusy juniper and bergamot.
#6 Yves Saint Laurent Opium
A late October night out at Studio 54 is bottled in Yves Saint Laurent’s spicy, sensual Opium fragrance, a potent mix of deep woods and sumptuous spices like myrrh and frankincense punctuated by top notes of mandarin and jasmine.
#7 Tom Ford Oud Wood
“[It] envelops you in rare oud, exotic spices, and cardamom, then exposes its rich and dark blend of sensuality,” says Tom Ford of his characteristically strong and sexy take on an earthy and woody bouquet.
#8 Maison Margiela By the Fireplace
An addictive olfactory tribute to the crackle of wood burning, Maison Margiela ups the ante on the perennial comfort of sitting in front of the fireplace by boosting a heart of chestnut and woody accords with gourmand notes of vanilla and orange blossom.
#9 Diptyque Paris Tam Dao Eau de Toilette
A lush, woodsy mainstay, Diptyque’s Tam Dao is a tribute to the mountains of Tonkin that marries the creamy woodiness of sandalwood with smoky cypress and lemony myrtle.